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Sep 21

The 1975-1985 Plan

Posted on September 21, 2022 at 3:49 PM by Allison Duncan

In March of 1973, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners established the Douglas County Planning and Engineering Department with the express understanding that this department would direct growth into an orderly and regulated pattern. With the establishment of the Planning Commission and the Planning and Engineering Department, the 1975-1985 Comprehensive Development Plan rounds out all of the pieces that create the foundation of our modern planning department. 


With a modern department, we see some very modern goals identified in our plan. A few of these include:

  • Encourage compact growth, as opposed to scattered growth patterns.
  • Promote compatibility of adjacent land uses and provide buffers between non-compatible uses of land for aesthetically pleasing development.
  • Keep structural development out of flood plains and other areas where soils are not suitable for development.
  •  Encourage open-space type land uses and large-lot residential development in the Dog River , Bear Creek, and Gothards Creek drainage basins until an adequate sewerage system.
  • Protect the present character of the stable residential areas, provide a variety of residential neighborhoods for varied needs and tastes.  
  • Concentrate businesses together in compact groups rather than allowing them to spread haphazardly.
  • Encourage light industry and high value-added industry to locate in Douglas County.
  • Provide adequate areas for the expansion of existing industries and the development of new ones in order to broaden the County’s tax base.
  • Place emphasis on the educational, recreational and other public and semi-public   facilities in order to satisfy the needs of an expanding population.
  • Coordinate land development with existing and proposed thoroughfare system to achieve maximum efficiency in the movement of people, goods, and services.
  • Establish a mechanism to receive citizen input into the development of the plan.
  • Provide basic data to assist the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners to arrive at decisions on zoning, capital budgeting, and other areas concerning development in the County.

Interestingly, this plan also called attention to the unique and challenging environmental and topographical conditions of the county.  It is a reality that is very present to this day:

"The soils of Douglas County with severe development limitations due to floodplains, degree of slope and rock formation represent a total of 38% of Douglas County.  These undevelopable areas, however, furnish excellent opportunity to preserve open spaces and separate incompatible land uses in the county."

To that end, the 1975 plan was the first plan that described the presence of Sweetwater Creek State Park: "An outstanding addition to the county was the recent purchase of 811 acres south of Lithia Springs by the state for a state park." Our 2023 Comprehensive Plan update will build on many of the priorities first set out in 1975, including stable neighborhoods, a solid tax base, strong community engagement, efficient mobility, and protection of environmentally important areas through a countywide greenspace and trail network. Sweetwater Creek State Park